Financial Data Exchange (FDX) Survey
The Construction Financial Management Association (CFMA), Construction Progress Coalition (CPC) and XBRL US jointly conducted a survey in the Fall of 2022 among contractor members of CFMA to assess the current state of preparation of the Work-in-Process (WIP) report. The WIP report is a critical tool prepared by contractors or their accounting firms, and used by bond producers, surety carriers, banks, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and others to evaluate the current health of contractor financials. WIP reports today are primarily prepared in PDF or Excel spreadsheet format. Each recipient of the WIP must manually rekey WIP data into their own financial system or application. This causes time delays, can result in errors, and potentially the use of outdated information when making decisions on bonding, financing and other issues of importance to contractors.
The objective of the survey was to understand how the WIP is currently prepared as we explore how the report can be rendered in machine-readable format to automate the process of extracting and analyzing data. eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) could be used to transform paper-based (PDF or spreadsheet) WIPs into a fully computer-readable format. XBRL is an open, nonproprietary, global standard used for reporting financial data by banks, public companies, public utilities and investment management companies in the United States.
80 contractors, primarily sub-specialty/trade contractors and general contractors, responded to the survey.
Contractor Work-in-Progress (WIP) CFMA Survey Results
XBRL US, CFMA and CPC will continue our partnership towards greater automation. CPC and XBRL US will actively pursue the development of applications that can align with contractors current workflow (preparing the WIP in their accounting system or in a spreadsheet application), and produce good quality, automated WIP data. This is the first step in a move towards automation to improve the timeliness and usefulness of the surety-bond agent-contractor partnership.